Christ Church Ruins

Bergen, Norway

Christ Church was the main church and cathedral of Bergen in the Middle Ages. The church was built by King Olav Kyrre during the period 1066-1093. The church was situated north of Haakon's hall, the King's hall. It was dedicated to the Holy Trinity but was always known as Christ Church. In 1170 the relics of Saint Sunniva were moved here from Selja and placed on the main altar.

During Bergen's period as the capital of Norway in the 13th century, Holmen and Christ Church was the political centre of the country. The church itself was used for negotiations and the churchyard was used for hailing of kings and meetings of the realm. The first coronation in Scandinavia was held in Bergen in 1163 and several royal coronations were held in the church when it was finished. The kings were also married and buried in the church.

In 1531 the church was levelled to the ground by order of Eske Bille, the Danish governor of Bergenhus Fortress. Today the outline of the church is marked by a hedge. A memorial to Saint Sunniva and the royals buried there is placed on the site of the high altar.

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Bergenhus 13, Bergen, Norway
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Founded: 1066-1093
Category: Ruins in Norway

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